From a very early age, all I wanted to do was draw and write stories. I was advised to get a real job.
I did, but it didn't stop me torturing Sammy Hamill at Ireland's Saturday Night, where I eventually got my first break around the late 80s.
A strip cartoon set in a pub called 'Leaving the Boot Inn'. Little did I know what lay ahead.
I took voluntary redundancy from my real job and became a freelance cartoonist and caricaturist with the News Letter, covering many different departments from sport to politics and their fledgling paper, the Bangor News.
As the redundancy dwindled it was time for another real job, although by then I was cartooning for both the Sunday Life and its rival, the Sunday World, thanks to Messrs Hill, Sullivan and my big mucker, McDowell.
In October 2007, I received a call from Martin Lindsay, the editor of the Belfast Telegraph, during a lunch break at my real job. I was offered the position of daily cartoonist.
It was an emotional moment for me as it was the realisation of my childhood dreams. I was to be the daily editorial cartoonist for the biggest and best publication in Northern Ireland.
So, collectively, 30 years, eight editors and over 5,000 cartoons (3,300 for the Telegraph alone) and caricatures later, my tenure comes to an end at the close of 2020.
I now have the opportunity to pursue my other dream. My first novel, Time Served, a prison-based, emotionally fuelled, crime thriller, has been professionally edited and I will be actively seeking representation from an agent or publishing house from the start of 2021. I will also be working on mapping out my next book.
Finally, it has been both an honour and a privilege to produce cartoons for the 'Tele' for 13 years.
If, at any stage, I have created a smirk, or a smile, or a laugh… or even a talking point, then I've done my job.
Will I miss it? Probably… for a while.
I want to thank all the staff that I've worked with and you, the readership.
The signs for the future are better than they have been for most of this year. Keep doing the right thing and stay safe.